Charter House has for the past decade and half organized Ghana’s foremost music awards to honour musicians but the emergence of a new music awards by the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) is beginning to raise eyebrows.
MUSIGA on Monday announced that it will organize the first edition of the Ghana Music Honours (MUSIGA Honours) with the sole aim of rewarding musicians for their exploits.
The move has sent tongues wagging and pundits asking if “MUSIGA has lost confidence in the annual Ghana Music Awards organized by Charter House?”
Answering that question in an interview with Myjoyonline.com, MUSIGA President Bice Osei Kuffour popularly known as Obour reiterated his association’s confidence in the Ghana Music Awards (GMAs).
He explained that the introduction of the MUSIGA Honours is not aimed at undermining the GMAs but rather “the MUSIGA Honours is an honorary award that is presented to people deserving of those honorary recognition [and] they are selected by musicians.”
According to Obour, unlike the GMAs which is more of public awards, there is no public voting and that industry experts – made up of singers, composers, sound engineers etc – select the winners for the Ghana Music Honours.
“Ghana Music Awards, more or less is by popular votes. For instance a category like Song of the Year is 100% public votes but with the Ghana Music Honours, there is no voting category for the public to determine even 1% of it. It is strictly musicians who select the winners,” he explained.
The new awards scheme, he noted, takes into account the fact “There are people in this industry that deserve to be recognized [and] they might never get the chance to be recognized because of competition in the competitive awards or because their songs are not being played on radio.”
The MUSIGA President stressed that, musicians are better placed to understand the music business and therefore “know which people amongst us whose songs are outstanding.”
“This will be an award scheme that musicians will own and it will be a total reflection” of the will and wish of musicians and anybody who wins “really deserves it,” he added.
The awards, which comes off at the National Theatre on March 9 will honour musicians and personalities in 12 categories. The honours will be part of the first Ghana Music Week celebrations which is slated for March 4 to March 10 at the same venue.
The categories for the honours are: Music Industry Development Honour, Music Promoter Honour, Music Tutor Honour, Music Band Honour, President’s Choice Honour, Reggae/Dancehall Musician Honour, Highlife Musician Honour, Hiplife Musician Honour, Gospel Musician Honour, Traditional Music Honour, Music Producer/Sound Engineer Honour, and International Act Honour.
A release from MUSIGA explained that the selection process for the Ghana Music Honours will be nationwide and it will involve committees in the various regions who will shortlist the various artistes and songs for the awards.
There will be regional nominations by musicians after which special committees in the regions will compile the nominations and submit them to the Executive Council of MUSIGA. The council will further prune the nominations to three per category.
The finale phase, the release said, will see a selection of musicians called the Musicians Council which will come from different music genres in the country.
They are expected to meet on the nominations and select finalists based on consensus.